“An operation is out of the question,” said Mohammad Tamanna, brother of conjoined twins Saba and Farha Saleem. “We don’t want to lose a single one,” he told The Hindu.

The family received a breather recently when the Supreme Court ruled against an immediate surgery to separate the 17-year-old twin sisters. The court decided against the operation as there was no medical assurance on the safety of the procedure to separate them.

The court also ordered the Bihar government to pay Rs. 5,000 a month towards their medical expenses.

“When they were first told about the decision, they were very happy. They thanked the court for ruling in our favour,” Mr. Mohammad said on the phone. The twins, he said, were not in a position to speak, being ill for the past two days. Their body is not able to withstand anything cold and food allergies develop quickly.

“Right now they are feeling a little out of breath,” he said.

Asked if the family was open to the idea of surgery, “Leaving aside an operation, we would welcome any other support. As of now there is no talk of seeking any further medical opinion,” the brother said.

The family is poor and eke out a living running a tea and snack stall in Patna. The monthly expenses of the twins, including medicines and diet, come to Rs. 8,000. The support of Rs. 5,000 as per the order of the court, therefore, comes as a relief to the family.

As for Farha and Saba, “they are happy being together, just as they have been doing since birth. There is no problem. We just want them to be happy,” Mr. Mohammad said.